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Russia explains arms shipment to Fiji

February 14, 2016 9:25 pm

The Russian Embassy in Canberra Australia has responded to reports on arms shipments to Fiji saying it isn’t intended to interfere in domestic affairs or against third countries.

The consulate is also accredited to Fiji.

Russian Ambassador to Fiji Vladimir Morozov says the Russian government is surprised by recent reports in the media regarding an alleged secret supply of the Russian arms to Fiji.

Ambassador Morozov says the said military equipment will be used by the Fijian armoured infantry battalion which is the largest component of the UN Disengagement Observer Force based in the Golan Heights.

He adds it has been supplied on non-repayable basis at the official request of Fiji after talks between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister in June 2013.

Ambassador Morozov says Fiji and Russia are working together on the international arena pursuing the common goal of building a just and secure world.

He adds both countries share common commitment to the interaction in the UN, including on peacekeeping issues where Fiji has rich experience.

The Russian Consulate also says its military trainers have been instructing the Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel for the last two weeks and once finished, they will be able to leave for peacekeeping missions.

Ambassador Morozov insists there is no reason for the claims about the “secrecy” of the shipment and adds that Russia’s assistance to Fiji will increase the efficiency of peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East.

It is also expected to contribute to further military and technical cooperation.